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Deceptive Advertising

Atkins Nutritionals Chocolate Candies

The complaint for this class action alleges that “net carbs” calculation on Atkins Nutritionals products is deceptive because it fails to properly take sugar alcohols into account. To calculate a product’s “net carbs,” Atkins takes the number of carbs it contains and subtracts both fiber and sugar alcohols, which the complaint claims provides a false result because sugar alcohols do increase blood sugar.

Mike and Ike Original Fruits Candy Box

This class action alleges that boxes of Mike and Ike Original Fruits candy contain approximately 30% empty space. California’s Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (CFPLA) states, “No container shall be made, formed, or filled as to be misleading. A container that does not allow the consumer to fully view its contents shall be considered to be filled as to be misleading if it contains nonfunctional slack fill.” While it lists reasons why slack fill may be acceptable in some cases, none of them apply to the Mike and Ike candy, the complaint says, making the packaging deceptive.

Lamps Plus Room

False reference prices are illegal, but the complaint for this class action alleges that Lamps Plus uses them regularly on its own brands of merchandise. According to the complaint, Lamps Plus branded and trademarked items are sold only in Lamps Plus retail stores, which means that any higher “original” prices must have been offered at Lamps Plus stores. But the complaint claims that an investigation tracking the prices of specific items has shown that the items were offered at the same prices for many months, with no sign of the “original” prices advertised, and certainly no sign of them within the preceding three months. Yet, the complaint says, each price tag bears a higher, “Compare At” price, with an X through it and a lower “sale” price, with the “sale” price being the price at which the item has always been offered.

St. John's Wort Plant

St. John’s wort is known as a medicinal herb that can relieve depression. The National Institutes of Health’s website says a group of 29 studies showed that it may be “as effective as standard prescription antidepressants for major depression of mild to moderate severity.” The active ingredient in this plant is hypericin, and studies have shown that a dose of .9 mg per day is beneficial. However, independent lab tests have shown that some brands labeled to show that they contain this amount actually contained much less, from as little as .166 mg to .615 mg.

Naked Pressed Juices

Naked Juice is a subsidiary of PepsiCo that offers seven different juice product lines, including juice blends, smoothies, almond milks, and coconut waters. Its Naked Pressed line is a premium line made up of purportedly cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juices, but the complaint for this class action questions whether calling the juices “cold-pressed” is strictly truthful, because the product undergoes another step after the cold pressing which reduces enzymatic, biological, and cellular activity and lessens nutrient content. The “cold-pressed” juice, the complaint alleges, is only an intermediate product and not the final product sold in stores.

Olive Oil

Companies that import, market, and sell three brands of olive oil—Bertolli, Carapelli, and Carbonell—are the target of a recent class action that alleges that they make false claims on their labels, namely that the olive oils are imported from Italy, and that some of them are “extra virgin”. The classes proposed for this action do not cover all buyers of olive oil throughout the US, so others may still be able to join in with this case.

Duracell Bunny

Ocean State Job Lot stores proclaim themselves the “Home of Adventure Shopping,” offering brand-name merchandise at discount prices. But, the complaint alleges, in selling Duracell batteries made for lower-standard Asian markets, it’s engaging in deception. First, the complaint claims, batteries for Asian markets must meet different specifications from those sold in the US and “may perform differently” than US Duracells. Second, because of this difference, the Duracell packaging for the Asian markets makes claims that are not valid in the US market, for example, the claim that the batteries provides “up to 6x longer lasting power”.

ShiKai Everyday Shampoo

As more and more consumers choose products with only natural ingredients, more and more companies want to call their products “natural”—even if it means ignoring the presence of synthetic or chemical ingredients.

Skeeter Snacks Cinnamon Grahams

Skeeter Snacks has agreed to settle a class action alleging that it deceptively advertised and packaged some of its snacks, claiming that they were “all natural” even though they contained artificial or synthetic ingredients such as anhydrous dextrose, lecithin, soy lecithin, and cocoa (processed with alkali).

Olivella Liquid Soap

What could be more “natural” than a face and body liquid soap made from olive oil? Perhaps one without chemicals and preservatives?

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